Botany and Ecology
Botany and Ecology

Botany and Ecology

Our current selection of Botany and Ecology classes and workshops for adults for this season at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.


Floral Mimicry and Deceptive Pollination

with Kyle Martin
Friday, June 15
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Flowers have evolved the ability to communicate with their animal pollinators using the ancient language of chemistry, but that doesn’t mean they always speak the truth! In this course, explore how and why flowers signal to their pollinators. Special emphasis will be placed on the cheaters - the flowers that use mimicry, false advertising, and dishonest signaling to trick unwitting animals into performing pollination.

Instructor Kyle Martin will introduce you to the visible and invisible world of plant-animal communication and deceit. Class will conclude with a walk through the Gardens to see (and smell) examples of floral mimicry and deceptive pollination for ourselves.

This class is an elective for the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture.


Beyond the Traditional Butterfly Garden: Maine Butterflies and their Host Plants

with Andy Brand
Friday, July 13
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Among the species of butterflies that call Maine home, there is tremendous diversity in habitat needs and plants relied upon to live. Did you know that it’s not only monarch caterpillars that are such picky eaters? Many species specialize in the host plants on which their eggs are laid and on which caterpillars eat. Meanwhile, the nectar plants of adult butterflies often bear no connection to these hosts. In this class, learn about which plants will attract butterflies to your yard and what host plants will boost populations. Also included will be a quick overview of butterfly identification and commonly-seen species. The course will include a visit to the Butterfly House, highlighting the host plants growing here at the Gardens.
This class is an elective for the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture.


The Lives of Maine Butterflies

with Andy Brand
Thursday, August 9
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Everyone is familiar with butterflies and enjoys seeing them visit our flower gardens. But did you know that there are over 115 species of butterflies in Maine? Join Andy Brand as he looks deeper into this diverse world, taking participants on a tour of butterfly families and pointing out how to tell them apart. Butterfly metamorphosis will also be discussed in depth, revealing that butterfly life isn’t easy at any stage. How do these delicate creatures survive the winter? How do they protect themselves from predators? While answering these questions, Andy will also share his experiences rearing butterflies and moths as well as recommend some of his favorite field guides. After the indoor lecture, participants will head into the Gardens in search of butterflies and their favorite plants, then head home better prepared to identify backyard butterflies and, perhaps, even rear them at home.


Places for Pollinators: How to Create Habitat for Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds

with Deb Perkins
Saturday, August 25
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Come learn how to create a habitat for butterflies, native bees and hummingbirds in your yard, garden, field or farm. This workshop will cover the basics of pollinator observation, identification, and ecology; pollinator habitat needs and environmental stressors; and how to create a high-value habitat in your own dooryard, farm, field or forestland. This workshop will place a special emphasis on fostering habitats for our native bee populations, and we’ll spend time in the outdoor classroom of the Gardens to see butterflies and bees in the landscape.
This class is an elective for the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture.